Friday, February 11, 2011

Old Stuff Friday: The "Paisley Underground" - Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, Long Ryders...

Steve Wynn has played psychedelic hard guitar rock since 1981, and is in my opinion the avatar of this strain of psychedelic rock which featured Wynn's band The Dream Syndicate and related artists like The Bangles, Green on Red, The Rain Parade and The Long Ryders (to name a few). The Dream Syndicate put out The Days of Wine and Roses in 1984 and, if anything ever combined the spirits of The Stooges, Lou Reed, Crazy Horse, Hendrix and Creedence in a suitably hard-to-categorize package, this thing did it. Here's a contemporary performance of "Tell Me When It's Over".

Another member of the "Paisley Underground" movement, which sometimes shared members with The Dream Syndicate and other local favorites like The Bangles, was The Rain Parade. Much more accessible, this band featured Matt Piucci and David Roback (who later formed Mazzy Star). Piucci has done some excellent work post-Rain Parade, and even joined Crazy Horse. Of course he did! Recommended if you like Neil Young, the Byrds, Velvet Underground... Here's "This Can't Be Today" from 1983's Emergency Third Rail Power Trip... which I can't stop listening to, even 27 years later:

These bands often shared bills with country artists like Dwight Yoakam and roots bands like Los Lobos, which shared a natural affinity for and fan base with artists like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Gram Parsons and Buffalo Springfield that had preceded them on California stages. Nowhere is this better represented than in the music of the Long Ryders... here's a terrific video of "Looking for Lewis and Clark" from 1985's The State of Our Union:

If you've followed the string this far (and hopefully enjoyed the music), I am going to seize this opportunity to attempt to turn you into Steve Wynn fans, if you aren't already. He towered over this movement and remains a tremendous talent and an inspiration to a lot of independent artists. He and old buddies Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey and wife and bandmate Linda Pitmon have recently recorded a second album of baseball-inspired rock, The Baseball Project: High and Inside. Check out that record and some of his other music:

Website: Steve Wynn

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